Francisco Rodriguez got the final three outs Saturday night against the Mariners for his 58th save to break Bobby Thigpen's major-league record.
2 of 10Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The first player to reach 50 saves in one season, Thigpen compiled a 1.83 ERA in 1990 and finished fifth in the AL MVP voting.
3 of 10V.J. Lovero/SI
Gagne's perfect season -- converting all 55 of his save opportunities -- made him the first relief pitcher in 11 years to win the Cy Young. He compiled a 1.20 ERA and struck out 137 batters in 82 1/3 innings.
4 of 10Bob Rosato/SI
In his first year in the bullpen, Smoltz joined Dennis Eckerlsey as the only pitchers to have a 20-win season and a 50-save season in their careers. He blew just one save in 49 appearances after June 1.
5 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Hoffman tied the existing NL saves record with 53 while posting a 1.48 ERA, a performance that earned him more first place votes in the Cy Young balloting than winner Tom Glavine. Hoffman helped the Padres to the World Series, where they lost to the Yankees.
6 of 10John Biever/SI
At 30, left-handed reliever Randy Myers of the Cubs finished the season with a then NL-record 53 saves. Even though he was not selected as an All-Star that season (he would be in the next two seasons), he won the NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year award.
7 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
At 34, the Yankees' Mariano Rivera finished with a career-best 53 saves, helping New York to its eighth straight AL East crown. Rivera had a then-AL-record 32 saves at the break and went on to post a 1.38 ERA on the way to his third Rolaids Relief Man of the Year award.
8 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Converted from a starter at the beginning of the season, Gagne became the National League's leading reliever with 52 saves, a 1.97 ERA and 114 strikeouts, thanks in large part to his "Vulcan" change-up.
9 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
Beck, who died in 2007 from undisclosed causes, had a 13-year career in the majors with four teams, but was buried in his Cubs uniform in memory of his 51-save season, in which he posted a 3.02 ERA and helped the Cubs win the NL wild card.
10 of 10V.J. Lovero/SI
Eckersley, who didn't become a closer until 1987, his 13th big league season, finished with 51 saves and a 1.91 ERA in 1992, earning him the AL's Cy Young and MVP awards -- a feat only two relievers (Rollie Fingers in 1981 and Willie Hernandez in 1984) had previously accomplished. Eckersley was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2004.
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